It seems like every winter, I fall into the same trap. I get sick, but I have to work since I’m the breadwinner of the family. So I go to the doctor. I get antibiotics, I take Nyquil for those tough nights when I need sleep. I wake up in a haze and go to work.
All of that is a hit to my internal organs like my kidneys and liver. All of that imposes stresses on my body that ultimately degrades my performance. And all of that is because there is only so much paid time off that I can work with and then I start to bump into days without pay. I have to check out for when my kids get sick, my wife gets sick, parent teacher conferences, and what’s left over are true sick days. It’s like the system is designed to keep me bouncing back and forth between doctors and over the counter medicine.
The “seasonal” medicine that is advertised on TV is designed to keep me working, even when I’m sick. Think back to the last Nyquil or Alka-Seltzer For Colds commercial you ever saw. The scene is some serf working a delivery job and he’s sneezing and coughing while handling Christmas gifts for delivery. He takes the serum and the symptoms disappear! Hooray! He can work! If he can do it, I can do it!
Most commercials for over the counter medication are about keeping you working while you’re sick. They usually air when October rolls around and they keep airing until the snow is gone. Then they go on to allergy medicine. This “I gotta take medicine so I can work” cycle is vicious and it only leads to long term illness in the form of far more debilitating diseases.
A couple of months ago, I decided that I wanted to change the cycle. I kept thinking of a visit to my doctor long ago where he read me the results of a blood panel. A blood panel is a series of standard tests run to measure your health, kind of like checking your oil in your car. So on that one visit to my doctor, I learned that my liver was at 83% of functioning. The doctor said that’s about normal for my age. And now I think of what I eat, what I drink and the medicine I take, in terms of liver and kidney functioning and health. I want to extend their health as long as I can. You know, so that I can see my daughters get married and have kids.
I don’t drink. I don’t smoke. I tried coffee and that didn’t work for me. I…